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How Weight Stigma Affects Our Community

Recently, we have received some messages and comments from people whose doctors were focusing more on their weight than on their AS symptoms. It's been shown that doctors may dismiss overweight patients' valid concerns, and tell them to "just lose weight," without considering any other answers for their pain.

So we asked the community, "Do you feel that doctors ever focus more on your weight than on your AS symptoms?" Their responses and experiences were all different, but the conversation remained respectful. Keep scrolling to see what some of your fellow AnkylosingSpondylitis.net friends had to say!

Share your thoughts with us by voting in the polls and commenting below 📝

"It's all about your weight..."

Community Poll

Has your doctor ever focused more on your weight than your AS symptoms?

"They don't understand that with all health issues I have, a very hard time walking some days, much less exercising."

"All the time. My doctor said if you lose 10% of your body weight you'll start getting better. I lost 80 pounds. I’m worse now. Then she said you need to lose more. 🤬🤬🤬"

"None of my doctors are overly concerned with my weight, even though I am overweight. My weight fluctuates the same 5 pounds over, 5 pounds under for years. Except when I was on a steroid and my weight skyrocketed quickly (talk about Moon Face!) and my rheumatologist took me off of it."

"I'm not active due to limited mobility. My GP told me that she would be more concerned if I started losing flesh for no reason. My hair, skin and nails are in great shape and my blood work excellent."

"Yes! And I'm MAYBE 10 pounds overweight. Maybe."

How do you feel about it?

Community Poll

Do you feel your weight is a factor in your level of pain?

"I’ve been small and heavy and pain is the same."

"It really is a major factor in the severity. Nothing wrong with a doc saying it..."

"I used to be overweight and the difference is like night and day. No sugar, no gluten. It’s helped me 75 percent."

"It's not like we don't flipping understand taking off weight might help. But when some days you do all you can do to get up just to use the bathroom, taking a long walk isn't in the cards. I'd love to go out and take long walks or do anything!"

"Was told for years to lose weight and my pain would get better. Spent a few thousand on a vertical sleeve and lost 80 pounds. I’m now thin and it’s still getting worse every day."

"Yes, and I when I do lose weight, I gain it back from the Prednisone."

"Did they really just say that?"

Community Poll

Has your doctor ever made a comment about your weight that felt rude?

"I have lost a total of 67 pounds doing the keto diet, and my doctor said well...you have a small frame...lose more. 😒 I do NOT have a small frame! And the only time that I weighed 120 is after my 1st baby 26 years ago!"

"Yes. All the time. One doctor I saw refused to treat me because I was fat. She said those exact words to me."

"Mine doesn’t mention it, thank God. I think he realizes I have enough on my plate. I’m fortunate!"

"It's so bizarre but I have lost weight due to an illness and they just congratulate me, which is weird."

"Omg! I thought it was just me that felt this way!!! I honestly never went back to my last rheumatologist because the first thing he said to me on the first time I saw him was pretty much you’re fat and depressed and that’s why you’re going through all of this."

Do you relate to any of the experiences? Vote in the polls above and comment below 😎

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AnkylosingSpondylitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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